Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kitchen Lovin

I have tried many, many schedules. Liking some, parts of one, bits of another. I've implemented many, and become dissatisfied with them. We need some freedom, and wiggle room around our house. We like to be able to change directions on a whim if needed. But, I as well as the children like structure. It's almost contradictory.
 haha... that's us.
After the holidays, I wanted to get our home in gear, I wanted to make it more efficient and more pleasant. Order helps.
So I made up a simple schedule of each one's duties for each day of the school week. On top of normal chores, grooming, homeschool lessons...
One day a week, Cameo and Eli are together in charge for supper. They planned their menu, they made sure we had what we needed and today they prepared the meal.

 We had a new meatloaf recipe, mashed potatoes, peas and garlic bread. It was absolutely wonderful. I was so proud of them for they did most everything themselves.
I have mentioned before, I can be quite controlling in the kitchen, but I am doing my best to loosen my grips and allow the kids to get their hands involved.
I know with my kids, they LOVE to cook, and I believe when you allow them to get involved they will try harder and enjoy and appreciate it more!
 I wanted to make it special, so I pulled out the table runner, I put some candles out and got some fresh flowers for the center.
It was a lovely table, everyone was so proud.

While the kids worked on supper and I supervised, I had a bit of freedom to tarry about the kitchen, working, rearranging and cleaning.
I moved some things around and pulled an industrial shelf into the dining area. My kitchen/dining room is rather large now, but I have VERY little storage space. I felt that if I pulled this shelf in and put things in a tidy manner, an open shelf would work well.
It is sparse right now, but once I finish it will be just grand.
I pulled some of my cookbooks together and placed them in an easy to get to location. Pretty and functional. That's my favorite.
One of my favorite spots in the kitchen.
I rearranged my spice cabinet and labeled some of my bulk spices. A homeschool mom with her labeler... that's me.
I love how dark my vanilla has turned. I opened it and it smells so strong. It's just lovely.
A new spot for my canvas. I really like it here. I love how the red kettle is sidled up beside it. I love red, blue, yellow...
Happy kitchen times.
Enjoying and appreciating the new and the old.
May your day be blessed friends!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentine Hearts Banner

I was in the mood to make something Valentine-y for our home... yeah, it's a word. :)
I decided to work up a few little hearts. They are quick and easy and so sweet and festive. 
I used extra yarn I had on hand. Some is cotton, some acrylic. I also used a G hook.
First, chain 4 and make into a magic circle 
If you don't know what a magic circle is, it means to slip stitch into the first stitch so a circle is made and use that circle for your next stitches to be anchored...

You want to chain 2 and then crochet 10 double crochets or dc into your circle... 
it will look like this when finished. 

Now, once you are back to the beginning, sl or slip stitch to the beginning dc.
Double crochet 5 times into your first stitch and then once into the next 3 stitches.
This next stitch will be your 'bottom' stitch. In the next stitch, do 1 double crochet, 1 triple or treble crochet, and 1 more double crochet. This will make the point and half your heart. 

Double crochet once into each of the next 3 stitches and then 5 double crochets in the next stitch. That should leave you one stitch in the middle and you will slip stitch there.

That is your first round!
You can change colors here or continue with the same.
Chain 1
Single crochet in the next stitch.
2 single crochets in the next 3 stitches.
Single crochet in the next 5 stitches
At the 'bottom' of your heart again, single crochet, double crochet, single crochet in that bottom stitch.
Single crochet in the next 5 stitches, working your way back up to the top.
2 single crochets in the next 3 stitches
1 single crochet in next
slip stitch and fasten off.

To make a chain to hang your banner....
Chain 20
Slip stitch in the backside of your hearts
Chain 10-15 between each heart, depending on how long you want the distance between each heart.
Work in all your hearts and then Chain 20 again and fasten off.

Hang and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A few more writings...

My creative juices have been flowing lately. I ache to make things, to beautify our home and surroundings affordably.
I also want our lives to radiate God's love. Everything we do, we say... all of it. Because that's who we are. We are children of God.

Here are a few of my latest additions to our walls, windows, nooks and crannies.

I am by NO means a painter. It doesn't look so streaky normally, but the light was shining in the window and until I decide where to hang it, I like it here where I see it often. 
My writing is wobbly, but it works, and I dig it. So all's good. :)

I added a little grouping with my "His banner over me is Love" hoop. I made the smile and laugh hoop many, many years ago. The little bird hoop was giving to me in an internet craft exchange. I just made "He makes everything beautiful". 
I love how they look together. I love the happy yellow color behind them. It makes me smile when I walk by that space in my kitchen/dining room. 

I have several other projects on my waiting-to-do list. I can't wait to get to it. 

I hope you are remembering HIS promises too!
Much love...


Monday, January 21, 2013

Homemade Honey Oat Bread

I tried my hand at a new bread recipe on Saturday. It was very yummy and we enjoyed it with honey or jam for dessert Saturday night. 
I would suggest making sure you knead the dough long enough and bake thoroughly.  Bread baking is an art, no doubt about it. It is something you need to work at to get a good idea on how the dough should look when you have kneaded enough or not enough. 
I have went back and forth with buying a Bosch mixer, I want one and then I don't. I would love to be able to mix up many batches of bread at once, that is one thing theBosch would be good for, and then I think, I want to do the kneading myself... so then I hesitate. I am terrible about that. Back and forth...
So until then, I knead by hand, learning and experiencing as I go. I hope if you have never tried your hand at making bread, you give it a go. Homemade bread is one of those things that make you feel all warm inside and you feel good sharing it with your family. Along with some local honey or some freshly whipped butter. 
The bread recipe is below as well as the link to the original website. 

This is not my recipe, it is from this website, I want to make sure I link it back to her to give her credit for recipe.
Honey Oat Bread [Printable Version]
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey (agave for vegan)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey (or agave), warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.
In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you’re making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time, to soften it up.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.
Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe by Darla


Monday, January 14, 2013

Writing them on our doorposts...

I got the hankering the other day for some fresh new craft projects for our home. The crafting urge always seems to hit me when I am in the middle of something else. Lol.

So... In the middle of everything else, I started pulling out supplies.

I was inspired by this verse in Deuteronomy 6:9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I decided I wanted to write God's promises all throughout our home. As reminders, as promises, as inspiration.

My first project came in the form of this...
Little pennant banners are so adorable... such happy colors.

It now resides in my kitchen, as a promise and reminder to me when I walk in.
His Love is with me, it covers me, it protects me and He will never leave me.

May you be reminded of His promises today and always!